RAM Farms is upping its game for this year’s run-up to Halloween, with more varieties of pumpkins and more frightening frights at the RAM Farms Pumpkin Patch, which opened for the season on Friday.
“We have our pumpkins ready, and we’ve updated the Scary Shed and it looks great,” said Karen Macedo. “We did a little more in the Scary Shed this year.”
The Scary Shed, an old work shed decorated inside with cobwebs and scary dummies, will take on a “Wizard of Oz" theme this year. If that doesn’t sound particularly scary to you, well, then you’ll just have to make your way through the shed and see for yourself.
Also back for another year is the popular corn maze, also featuring a “Wizard of Oz” theme.
“Usually, we have a Halloween theme,” said Macedo. “This year, we did a ‘Wizard of Oz’ theme with the corn maze and that carried over to the Scary Shed. We like to change it up a little.”
There’s hay-bale maze that the younger kids can navigate, in addition to tires to play on and a sandbox. RAM Farms is hosting field trips for every kindergarten class in the Turlock Unified School District.
“Each school has a number of kindergarten classes, and hosting field trips is something we’ve done the last few years,” said Macedo. “We talk about the life cycle of a pumpkin seed, and kids can observe Stanislaus County agriculture in action, right here in their back yard.”
This season marks the 16th year that farmers Ron and Karen Macedo have operated the pumpkin patch.
“We had pumpkins growing there and we just started selling pumpkins and it expanded over the years,” said Macedo. “Then, when we rotated with corn, we designed the maze and cut it ourselves. We come up with a theme, then download the idea onto our tractor’s GPS. After we plant the corn, we go out and cut the maze. Our son (Michael) does most of that.”
Entry into the maze is $10 for ages 6-12 and $12 for ages 13 and older.
There is no charge for kids 5 and younger.
There is no charge to enter the pumpkin patch.
“The main thing is the pumpkins,” said Macedo. “What’s really nice to see is the same faces coming back year after year. It’s a family tradition. That’s what I enjoy the most about it. We love seeing all the return customers. We love seeing the new customers, too, but we have a lot of return customers and that makes us happy.”
Another point of pride for the Macedos is that their pumpkins are being recognized statewide.
“This year, we’re happy to say that our pumpkins have been noticed and we are selling them throughout California,” said Macedo. “I can’t say exactly where, so I’ll just say that our pumpkins can be found at the happiest place on earth.”
Those same pumpkins that are decorating a certain amusement park in Anaheim can also decorate your porch — and you don’t even have to go to the pumpkin patch to make it happen.
RAM Farms is featuring a Patch-to-Porch service where you can have an assortment of gourds delivered to your home.
“We have two packages — 25 or 15 pumpkins,” said Macedo. “The package of 25 is $300 and the package of 15 is $225. And you can add hay bales and cornstalks to your order.”
RAM Farms features more than 40 varieties of pumpkins.
“We have six different white varieties alone,” said Macedo. “We have heirlooms, hybrids, and the typical orange carvers — about seven different sizes. Our orange carvers are beautiful this year.”
For every sale of a pink pumpkin this year, a $1 donation will be made to the HAVEN (Healthy Alternatives to Violent Environments) Center in Modesto to help fund services and support to survivors of domestic violence.
The RAM Farms Pumpkin Patch, located at the intersection of East Canal Drive and North Daubenberger Road, is open seven days a week through Halloween.
“Then we clean up and get ready to do the ice skating and Christmas trees and the photos with Santa,” said Macedo. “That starts on Nov. 17.”
For more information on RAM Farms’ attractions through October, visit: ramfarms.com.